What are we doing with our girls?
Updated: Jan 6, 2019
A few months ago I accompanied my son and his class during a school trip. We went to the Olympic museum in Lausanne. There we took part in a sports photography “atelier”; the boys on one side the girls on the other. This did not surprise me. What surprised me and even touched me deep inside and not in a nice way was the difference in attitude and self-esteem between the two groups.
The boys were coming up with pose after pose, for the photographs, each one more silly and extravagant than the previous. They were having fun and were not concerned by “how do I look, is this silly, what are people going to think/say”. They just did. The girls and I know it seems like I am generalising here, but this is what I observed, were huddled in a corner over concerned by “how do I look, is this silly, what are people going to think/say”. The issue was that whereas the boys were collecting memories and experiences, the girls were not. Pushed down even debilitated by their low self-esteem. For someone that has battled with low self-esteem, this emotionally was torture.
What are we doing with our girls that makes us even as women so concerned by other people’s thoughts? What are we doing that is so different to what we are doing to boys?
I spent the rest of our afternoon wandering around the Olympic museum alone. There within those walls were so many female role models. Women who have pushed open doors of new possibilities for women and even pushed the boundaries of what is possible/doable. What do those women have that our girls do not? How were they brought up? And yet how can we inject some of the lionesses like power into more of us? I was overwhelmed by the emotions I was feeling a real rainbow spanning from anger, strength, loss, hope, and even hopelessness but mostly concern and a great sense of purpose. If I and so many of us have managed to break the chains of lack of confidence, do we not owe it to others women and even girls to guide them and show them that there is another way, and this way does not involve us becoming men. But a way that includes self-acceptance and self-love. A way that requires connecting with our essence and letting our true selves shine out.
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